Chinese Buyers Expand Their Reach in the U.S. Housing Market

January 9, 2019

Chinese home buyers have been the top foreign buyers of residential housing in the U.S. for six consecutive years, and now they’re expanding their footprint beyond luxury markets to lower-priced tiers as well, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

Wall decor of a Chinese dragon.

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Chinese buyers in the U.S. have long had an appetite for million-dollar properties that they’re willing to pay all cash for. But recently, middle-class buyers from China are looking to snatch up lower-priced homes in the U.S. They’re also more often turning to mortgages to finance their purchases.

“The Chinese people still see the United States as a safe harbor where they can take their assets and park their money not only for their money but also for the future of their children,” Michi Olson, a real estate professional in San Francisco, told CNBC.

The median price of a home sold to a Chinese buyer fell from slightly under $530,000 in 2017 to $439,000 in 2018, according to NAR data. The top places Chinese buyers are targeting in the U.S. for their real estate purchases: California, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.

“The Chinese are basically politically agnostic,” Olson says. “What I mean by that is even though there is a great tension between the U.S. government and Chinese, the Chinese citizen seems to be able to separate the political turmoil with the sound real estate investment.”